Zennie62 on YouTube

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

San Francisco Chronicle Lynches SF Giants' Barry Bonds, Film at 11

Repeat after me: Barry Bonds said "I never knowingly took a banned substance" ; Barry Bonds said "I never knowingly took a banned substance." ; Barry Bonds said "I never knowingly took a banned substance."

Ok. Now, how many times does he have to say that? Apparently not enough for the San Francisco Chronicle. In a book to be released on March 21st, two Chron writers, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, claim that 200 sources "saw" Bonds take a banned substance, a form of steroid starting in 1998.

The San Francisco Bay Area sports media -- well populated with haters of the San Francisco Giants' premier slugger -- was quick to jump on the Chron's story, so quick that their brains shut off in the process. The people hot to lock up Barry Bonds apparently scored "six" on their Wonderlic tests -- and that exam applies more to what journalists do than the tasks of NFL quarterbacks.

But I digress.

The San Francisco Chronicle, in its lustful zeal to lynch a man that some Bay Area media types have branded as "arrogant" and basically a combination of adjectives that add up to "Uppity Negro," didn't even bother to use the term "allegedly." Nope. They just plain out and out wrote this:

Barry Bonds began using steroids after the 1998 baseball season and came to rely on a wide variety of performance-enhancing drugs over the next several years, according to a book written by two Chronicle reporters and excerpted in this week's Sports Illustrated.

The impication of this opening paragraph of today's Chronicle article is that everything Barry took was not legal at the time. Moreover, the Chronicle drunkenly uses the term "performance-enhancing drugs" as if that's a bad thing. Hey, in that case, you'd better lock me up for the four vitamin pills I took today.

I swear it's work like this that makes me wonder if some writers take the sauces before they write, rather than after they've written. And regardless of what the writer tells you, the sauce is not a performance-enhancing drug, but it can certainly cause one to write that Barry Bonds was knowingly using them, when they should have used more careful prose.

Here are the facts.

In 2002, San Diego Padres Ken Caminiti told Sports Illustrated that in 1996, not only was he using steroids, but half the players in Major League Baseball. Apparently, Bonds, who reportedly started using steroids in 1998, got the memo two years late, but even then the substances that were being provided were not illegal.

Indeed, it wasn't until 2004 that Major League Baseball placed a ban on the use of any drug that could be a steroid.

But the point is that -- repeat after me -- Barry Bonds said "I never knowingly took a banned substance." Again, Barry Bonds said "I never knowingly took a banned substance."

Are you listening?

This entire affair reads more like an attempt to defame Barry Bonds. I mean, why do I need to know that the drugs Bonds took which he did not know to be illegal have caused him to suffer sexual dysfunction and lead to his supposedly terrible behavior?

In other words, it's really important I know the brother's pissed cause he can't get it up. How in the heck do they know that, and why should I be aware of this news? It reads as if the Chron's trying to help Bonds' mistress stick it to him, and I'm not talking about a needle, either.

What's the point? If it's meaness, then Phil Bronstein's boys have hit the mark.

Look, I'm sure Barry was no different than "half the players in Major League Baseball" but where Mark McQuire gets away with a clean image (drug use allegations don't stick to him, even though Jose Canseco says McQuire used them), here comes the Chronicle to make sure dirt's kicked in Barry's face.

I have a feeling egg's going to be on the face of the Chronicle. Williams says that "I think it's important for baseball to corral performance-enhancing drugs and not tolerate them, because the tolerance for those drugs will inevitably seep down into the colleges and the prep programs. We're already seeing it," in response to why this story's important. That's a load of bull; the story's important because it's the latest bazooka they're using to embarrass Barry Bonds.

Look, Barry's not perfect. Fine. But he's a great baseball player. As far as I'm concerned, and other fans too, I'll still root for Barry, and pray that the San Francisco Chronicle gets a perfomance-enhanced kick in the collective ass.

Shocking: Kirby Puckett Passes Away at 47 Years of Age

One day. One day after suffering a stroke, Minnesota Twins star Kirby Puckett passed away. This is the rest of the sad, sad story. He was just 47 years old. God called him too early, and on the eve of his wedding.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kirby Puckett didn't need much time to make a big impact. Those who felt it, near and far, can only wish he had stayed around longer.

In his 12-year career, Puckett won six Gold Gloves, the 1989 batting title and two championship rings.
The bubbly Hall of Famer with the boyish enthusiasm for baseball, who led the Minnesota Twins to two World Series titles before his career was cut short by glaucoma, died Monday after a stroke. He was 45.

"He was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played," commissioner Bud Selig said. "Kirby was taken from us much too soon -- and too quickly."

Indeed, Puckett was the second-youngest person to die having already been enshrined in Cooperstown, Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson said. Only Lou Gehrig, at 37, was younger.

Stricken early Sunday at his Arizona home, Puckett died at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, where friends and family had gathered. Puckett, who was divorced, is survived by his children, Catherine and Kirby Jr. He was engaged to be married to his fiancée, Jodi Olson, this summer. Funeral arrangements were pending.

Puckett's post-retirement weight gain over the past decade had concerned friends and family, who were saddened but not shocked by his stroke.

"It's a tough thing to see a guy go through something like that and come to this extent," former teammate Kent Hrbek said.

Puckett led the Twins to championships in 1987 and 1991 after breaking into the majors in 1984. With a career batting average of .318, six Gold Gloves and 10 All-Star game appearances, Puckett woke up one morning during spring training in 1996 with blindness in his right eye, a condition that forced him to retire.

"That's what really hurt him bad, when he was forced out of the game," Hrbek said. "I don't know if he ever recovered from it."

A makeshift memorial began to form Monday night outside the Metrodome, with a handful of bouquets, caps and candles laid on the sidewalk.

"I grew up in center field yelling down on him. It's just not right," said fan Daniel Boche, who knelt down to pay his respects. "He was my idol growing up."

"It's tough to take," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said from the team's spring training camp in Fort Myers, Fla. "He had some faults, we knew that, but when all was said and done he would treat you as well as he would anyone else. No matter who you were.

"When you're around him, he makes you feel pretty good about yourself. He can make you laugh. He can do a lot of things that can light up a room. He's a beauty," Ryan said.

Though he steadfastly refused to speak pessimistically about the premature end to his career, Puckett's personal life began to deteriorate after that.

Shortly after his induction to Cooperstown, his then-wife, Tonya, accused him of threatening to kill her during an argument -- he denied it -- and described to police a history of violence and infidelity. In 2003, he was cleared of all charges from an alleged sexual assault of a woman at a suburban Twin Cities restaurant and kept a low profile after the trial, eventually moving to Arizona.

He stopped attending spring training as a special instructor in 2002.

Puckett was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2001, and his plaque praised his "ever-present smile and infectious exuberance."

He spent his entire career with Minnesota.

"I wore one uniform in my career, and I'm proud to say that," Puckett once said. "As a kid growing up in Chicago, people thought I'd never do anything. I've always tried to play the game the right way. I thought I did pretty good with the talent that I have."

Puckett's signature performance came in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series against Atlanta. After telling anyone who would listen before the game that he would lead the Twins to victory that night at the Metrodome, he made a leaping catch against the fence and then hit a game-ending homer in the 11th inning to force a seventh game.

The next night, Minnesota's Jack Morris went all 10 innings to outlast John Smoltz and pitch the Twins to a 1-0 win for their second championship in five years.

"If we had to lose and if one person basically was the reason -- you never want to lose -- but you didn't mind it being Kirby Puckett. When he made the catch and when he hit the home run you could tell the whole thing had turned," Smoltz said.

"His name just seemed to be synonymous with being a superstar," the Braves pitcher added. "It's not supposed to happen like this."

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk echoed Smoltz's sentiment.

"There was no player I enjoyed playing against more than Kirby. He brought such joy to the game. He elevated the play of everyone around him," Fisk said in a statement to the Hall.

Puckett's birthdate was frequently listed as March 14, 1961, but recent research by the Hall of Fame indicated he was born a year earlier.

The youngest of nine children born into poverty in a Chicago housing project, Puckett was drafted by the Twins in 1982 and became a regular just two years later. He got four hits in his first major league start and finished with 2,304 in only 12 seasons.

Though his power numbers, 207 home runs and 1,085 RBI, weren't exceptional, Puckett won an AL batting title in 1989 and was considered one of the best all-around players of his era. His esteem and enthusiasm for the game factored into his Hall of Fame election as much as his statistics and championship rings.

He made his mark on baseball's biggest stage, leading heavy underdog Minnesota to a seven-game victory over St. Louis in 1987 and then doing the same against Atlanta in one of the most thrilling Series in history.

"There are a lot of great players in this game, but only one Kirby," pitcher Rick Aguilera said when Puckett announced his retirement. "It was his character that meant more to his teammates. He brought a great feeling to the clubhouse, the plane, everywhere."

Puckett's best year was 1988, when he batted .356 with 24 home runs, 42 doubles and 121 RBI. A contact hitter and stolen base threat in the minors who hit a total of four homers in his first two major league seasons, Puckett developed a power stroke in 1986 and went deep a career-best 31 times.

He became a fixture in the third spot in Minnesota's lineup, a free-swinging outfielder with a strong arm and a flair for nifty catches despite his 220-pound frame that made him look more like a fullback. The man known simply as "Puck" was immensely popular.

Fans loved his style, especially the high leg kick he used as he prepared to swing. Public address announcer Bob Casey, who became a close friend, introduced him with vigor before every at-bat, "KIR-beeeeeeeeee PUCK-it."

Hit by a pitch that broke his jaw on his last at-bat of the 1995 season, Puckett woke up one morning the following spring and couldn't see out of his right eye. It was eventually diagnosed as glaucoma, forcing him to call it quits that July.

Ryan said he had an "empty" feeling that day, much like the mood around the organization Monday.

"His time came way too early," Ryan said.

Visit the new Zennie62.com

Google Analytics Alternative